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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Where Were You?

Today is my babies' half-birthday!  I made the mistake of telling them this yesterday, and immediately was met with demands of cake, candles and birthday hats.  They may not know what half means, but they certainly understand birthday.

So, have a seat and a piece of cake!

So often, as our babies grow, we mark the milestones and celebrate their development.  We tend to completely forget that as our babies sprout into children, we are also growing.

Our growth doesn't take the form of height or motor skills.  It's more subtle, but it's there.  So, as your babies age, and you celebrate the lives you created as they round each new stage, remember yourself.  We, as parents, are also important as people.

Let me explain.

When my babies were six months old, I was a full-time news producer in Boston.  The commute was long (90 minutes each way), and the hours were longer.  I coordinated and stacked shows that started with the unrest in Lebanon and ended with harvesting lichen in Maine.  I sat in a control booth, barking out orders to directors and reporters, taking phone calls from the assignment desk, and advancing the lower thirds.  Leaving this job marks a huge shift in priorities for me.  This was a rising-star job.  But I had to leave.  I was gone 15 hours a day.  I missed my babies.

When my babies were 18 months old, I was the senior producer for a weekly magazine show in Waterbury.  I worked under the umbrella of the Catholic Church, specifically, the Diocese of Hartford.  I'm not particularly religious, and this was hard for me.  We produced daily Masses, and Crossroads Magazine.  I was also in charge of public relations, obviously not an easy task.  I would put together intricate appeal videos that helped to bring in tens of millions of dollars to the church, while couching the hard news stories about it in sugary spin.  I was closer to home, but I still missed my babies.  My family was getting nervous as the economy worsened and my husband continued to look for work.

Now that the babies are 2.5 years, I'm staying at home with them.  My days are no longer filled with breaking news, cutting soundbites, and coordinating live shots.  My days are no longer filled with writing six-minute features, organizing promotional videos, or managing a staff.  My days are now filled with teaching language, reading, potty skills, and independence to a set of wily twins.  It's probably the hardest job I've ever done.

Happy half-birthday, babies.  Who knows where you'll be in your lives next year?  And who knows where mommy will be in hers?  Probably still behind the camera.  Hopefully still in front of an empty plate of cake.

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